Disinfect vs sanitate

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Hello everyone:
Reading and watching latest news I came accross with two terms (verbs) such as disinfect and sanitate.
The first one is more or less known to me, since we also use similar verb that came to us from Latin, I think. But the second one causes some doubts.
So what's difference between them?
Any insights would be appreciated.

P.S. I understand that you are not from CDC or NBCP troops. But yet...
 
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  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    Well if you have copied the words correctly, they are incorrect in the original.

    disinfect and sanitise

    They are similar, but depending on the context you might prefer one over the other. You are more likely to disinfect some things and sanitise others.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "Sanitize" refers to complete cleaning. "Disinfect" means removing infectious material (today, usually coronavirus-19) from something. Disinfecting does not necessarily make something clean. For example, it is possible to kill the virus on something by putting it in a chamber that contains the right gas or gases for this purpose. That would not make the object clean.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    They are similar, but depending on the context you might prefer one over the other. You are more likely to disinfect some things and sanitise others.
    :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    WRF Dictionary:

    dis•in•fect /ˌdɪsɪnˈfɛkt/ v. [~ + object]
    1. to cleanse of infection;
      destroy disease germs in:to disinfect a wound.
    san•i•tize /ˈsænɪˌtaɪz/ v. [~ + object], -tized, -tiz•ing.
    1. to make sanitary, as by cleaning or sterilizing.
    2. to make less offensive by removing anything unwholesome, objectionable, etc.: The producers sanitized her spicy book.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    They both mean "to (attempt to) remove the germs from" - hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray/solution etc, - they may or may not meet the more rigorous criterion of sterilize. Figurative use, as in "sanitize my room" may or may not involve use of santizer, depending on the intent:)
    .
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    There's a good easy-to-read discussion of these two words (plus "sterilize") at this site:

    Sanitize vs. Disinfect: What's the Difference?

    sidebar: As you mentioned, "disinfect" has a Latin origin......but so does "sanitize".
    :thumbsup:
    Good summary there. In lay terms the distinction between sanitize and disinfect may not be so clear, but EPA has defined in a quantitative way how their official documents should use the terms. Sterilize is a whole nother "kettle of steam":)
     
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